Hit-and-run injures Arab Muslim student, incident under investigation as hate crime

Nov. 4, 2023, 1:09 a.m.

A hit-and-run traffic incident targeting an Arab Muslim student was reported on campus Friday afternoon, according to an AlertSU from the Stanford University Department of Public Safety (SUDPS). The incident occurred around 2 p.m. at Campus Drive and Ayrshire Farm Lane, near Bowdoin Lane.

The victim, who was a pedestrian, is now receiving care for non-life threatening injuries, according to a Friday email from President Richard Saller and Provost Jenny Martinez.

SUDPS wrote in an updated AlertSU sent to community members Saturday morning that the suspect reportedly shouted “​​f*** you and your people.”

According to the initial Friday report, the driver “made eye contact with the victim, accelerated and struck the victim.'”

The suspect’s vehicle was a “black Toyota 4Runner, model year 2015 or newer, with an exposed tire mounted to the rear center and a Toyota logo in the center of the wheel,” according to the updated alert. 

The victim described the vehicle as having “a white California license plate with the letters M and J, with M possibly being the first letter and J in the middle,” Saturday’s AlertSU read.

The suspect was described as “a white male in his mid 20s, with short dirty-blond hair and a short beard.” He was reportedly wearing a gray shirt and round framed eyeglasses at the time of the incident.

The incident is under investigation as a potential hate crime by the California Highway Patrol. For an act to be reported as a hate crime, the incident must abide by the Clery Act definition of a hate crime — crimes “in which the victim was intentionally selected because of the perpetrator’s bias against the victim,” according to the Annual Safety and Security Report.

“We are profoundly disturbed to hear this report of potentially hate-based physical violence on our campus,” Saller and Martinez wrote. They condemned violence on the Stanford campus, and denounced hate-based violence as “morally reprehensible.”

Martinez said, “Stanford stands against Islamophobia and all forms of hatred and discrimination on the basis of religion, race, ethnicity or national origin,” during Thursday’s Faculty Senate session.

“Stanford is continuing to work to provide a safe and secure campus environment in the context of heightened tensions related to the events in Israel and Gaza,” according to the AlertSU. SUDPS encouraged students to “please call 911 or 9-911 from a campus telephone” if they are concerned for their personal safety.

Saller and Martinez echoed the AlertSU’s commitment to students’ safety. They will work with law enforcement to “provide for the safety and security of everyone in our campus community,” they wrote.

This story was updated with additional information from SUDPS.

Learn more about the Clery Act and how The Daily approaches reporting on crime and safety here.

Anna Yang ’27 is a University desk writer from the Bay Area, CA. Contact news 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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